Redbreast 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey – Review

Redbreast 12 Year Old Irish WhiskeyRedbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

80 Proof

Price Point: $45 – $55 for 750 ML

Distiller: Midleton Distillery



I was recently having dinner at a country club (no, I’m not a member; it was a work function).  Before dinner, a few of us went to the bar and ordered drinks.  They had a decent whiskey selection, considering most bars in the area end their variety at Jack and Jameson.  This bar had Woodford Reserve, Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, and even Lagavulin 16 Year Old, among others.

I happened to spot a dark bottle with a tan label way in the back.  It was Redbreast 12 Year Old.  Despite my love for single malt Scotches and all their complexities, I found myself ordering the Redbreast.  If that doesn’t speak volumes for the quality of this Irish whiskey, I’m not sure what will.



The nose on Redbreast 12 Year Old starts out creamy, and much smoother than most Irish whiskeys.  It’s a very delicate nose, with faint cinnamon and nutmeg.  It’s grainy, but in a pleasant way.  This is the best Irish when it comes to the nose, although the most interesting belongs to Connemara.

I would liken this to drinking the big brother, “grown-up” version of Bailey’s Irish Cream.  Even the texture is smooth and creamy.  Redbreast 12 Year Old is unmistakable as an Irish yet very subtle and refined.  It’s tasty on the tip of your tongue, but a little dull everywhere else.

The finish is brief, but very pleasant.


Rating & Recommendations

This is the best Irish whiskey I have tasted to date, earning a rating of 84 out of 100.

Redbreast 12 Year Old is a really solid whiskey all around, which is why it earns a top spot among Irish whiskeys.  I would like to see a little more complexity on the palate, but that’s probably not why you would buy this in the first place.  I would love to try the Cask Strength version.




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    • Charles Shaulis on August 25, 2013 at 1:19 am
    • Reply

    Hello, Ryan.

    I was introduced to the Redbreast 12 at the Admiral Steakhouse in Bath, ME back in February when Susan & I dined there on Valentine’s Day. After dinner, we asked to see the dessert menu, which included a single malt and aged whiskey selection. When I asked our server to recommend an after-dinner whiskey to have with our dessert and coffee, she suggested the Redbreast. It was served in a 6-ounce cognac snifter that had been warmed with hot water, and made an excellent after-dinner drink. It’s my favorite Irish whiskey to drink neat (in spite of the sherry influence) and there is always a bottle of Redbreast 12 sitting on top of Susan’s china cabinet. It sells for between $60 and $65 locally. The 92-proof Redbreast 15 is around $90, which is a bit pricey for me. I wasn’t aware of a cask-strength expression.


      • Ryan on August 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm
      • Reply

      Hi Chuck.

      Wow, $60 seems a little steep for this, especially considering it’s 80 proof (I thought $50 was a little high)! I am unaware of a 92 proof version. I looked online and saw that there is a cask-strength version available for around $65 usually, but not in my state – should have known. Regarding pricing, I guess things are a little strange up there in your neck of the woods.


        • Charles Shaulis on August 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm
        • Reply

        Good evening, Ryan.

        I too found multiple references to the availability of cask-strength Redbreast 12 in the US when I ran a Google search for “Redbreast cask strength,” but there was nothing mentioned on the Redbreast web site other than generic 12yo and 15yo expressions. Go figure. There is a link to the cask-strengh 12yo on the Irish Distillers web site,, but the link just takes you to the Redbreast web site. Let me know how you like it if you happen to find a bottle.


  1. There are two outstanding Irish whiskies in my opinion: Redbreast 12 and Greenspot

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